Found in the Woods

Session 2.1

Friend and companion to the company, Tannen, has gone missing. He was sent far east into the lands of men, towards the capital of Marda, to bring back intelligence vital to the cause. Denrog, Theophilus, and Amir are given details of his likely trail, and they set off in search of their comrade. After fording the mighty Laakso, the travelers encounter the Great Preserve, a vast woodland beyond which lies the realm of New Men. The party knows that Preserve belongs to the Crown – it is forbidden for any to travel these woods without the explicit consent of the king or queen, but the companions also know that this part of the land and is sparsely inhabited, and knowing as well that the Crown of Mithria jealously guards its priveledges, they do not expect to be challenged.
To their surprise, however, the travelers discover a lone, rather sumptuous homestead in the center of the Preserve. There lives a man, his daughter, and his young son. Curiosity overcoming their caution, the family bids the company welcome, and they are invited to take their ease for the night. They claim to have been alone there for more than 25 years, and further questioning leads to the confession that this is a banishment of sorts. The father (Marrn) indicates that his wife’s family (and therefore his children) are under an evil curse. But something doesn’t quite add up, and when Amir presses the daughter (Ardanna) for more details, they learn that the son (Kep) is blessed with magical healing powers.
Satisfied that nothing else is amiss, the party decides to press on with their quest the next morning. A few more days brings them to the edge of the wood, where they spot a heavily armed force of Royal soldiers patrolling the eastern border of the Preserve. After waiting for the soldiers to pass, the companions press on, and by evening find the village of Melling. Knowing that New Men in this region can be hostile to non-humans, Denrog remains on the outskirts of the village while Amir and Theophilus (in disguise) go into the village. At a tavern, they learn that an Elf has been captured and is being held in the main guard tower. The further learn that Sir Moland, the ruthless enforcer of the Princess and Queen Regent is only days away from the village. Word has been sent to him, and the disposition of the prisoner will be determined upon his arrival. Hearing this, Amir spreads rumors of badits and poachers in the area of the Preserve, hoping to encourage soldiers to step up their patrols of the wood’s edge, leaving the tower somewhat undefended.



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